This week sees the release of the Japanese phenomenon that is Monster Hunter Freedom Unite on the PSP. Already a massive success, the series has sold more than 8 million copies worldwide, with Japanese gamers lapping up everything to do with the game, playing it on street corners, public transport, and even at dedicated Monster Hunter festivals. The series has spawned a multitude of spin-off books, manga, and clothing, and the UK will see not only the release of the game, but also a dedicated Monster Hunter centre in London. There will also be a special PSP bundle launched alongside the game, including PSP-3000, a carry pouch, a screen wipe, a branded skin, and a copy of the game.
The game sees players take on the role of an avid Monster Hunter, and they can choose from a whole host of different weapons and looks for their character. The action role-playing gameplay features a variety of quests, including capturing the titular monsters. The game focuses heavily on the multiplayer, and up to four players can chase down monsters together using the PSP's ad hoc mode.
More Japanese RPG action comes courtesy of the long-awaited Tales of Vesperia on the Xbox 360. Released in August of last year stateside, the game is one of the highest-rated RPGs on the 360 and tells the story of Yuri's battles against the Empire, which is threatening the lives of the inhabitants of Terca Lumireis. Expect epic real-time battles, over-the-top magic spells, and a beautiful anime style.
Gamers who are not into RPGs but still fancy an adventure could do worse than take a look at Overlord II on the 360 and PS3. The minions from the first game are back, and as Overlord, gamers send them out on evil deeds to build an evil dominion, all the while battling the Roman-like Glorious Empire. Check out the full GameSpot review for more.
Boxing fans have a lot to be happy about this week as Fight Night Round 4 is released for the 360 and PS3. It features an all-new physics engine, improved graphics, and a brand-new Legacy mode that brings together fight scheduling, statistics, and training in a brand-new interface. Check out the latest hands-on for more on the game and watch out for a full review very shortly.
Wii users can lay their hands on Resident Evil Archives: Resident Evil, a remake of the original game in the series for the Wii. The new version introduces new controls that take advantage of the Wii's motion-sensing abilities, as well as a significant graphics update, new areas, and creatures. The PC sees a triple whammy of games this week, including Ubisoft's latest strategy game Anno 1404; Spore Galactic Adventures, the first expansion for EA’s hit Spore; and Transformers Revenge of the Fallen, based on the critically panned movie of the same name, which is also available on the 360 and PS3. You can check out the full GameSpot review of Spore Galactic Adventures here and Transformers here.
The download stores have also seen some action this week. The Wii sees the classic Puzzle Bobble Plus available on WiiWare for 800 points (£6.57), along with the first-person shooter Water Warefare, also available for 800 points. DSi users can download Suduku 50 for a mere 200 points (£1.64).
The PSN gets two games this week, the puzzler Zuma available for £6.99 and Super Stardust HD, which is on special offer for only £1.59. There is also a bunch of DLC, including a new Solstice costume for Little Big Planet, the Wombat Signature livery for MotorStorm Pacific Rift, and a new Warped Tour 2009 song pack for Rock Band.
Finally, Xbox Live users can enjoy some puzzle action of their own with the release of Droplitz for 800 points (£6.80). Gamers must strategically twist and connect dials in order to save precious Droplitz in what promises to be an addictive game. Fans of the Fatal Fury series will be able to purchase Garou - Mark of the Wolves for 800 points and enjoy brand-new systems such as Just Defense, T.O.P. In, and Braking, as well as a whole host of new characters.
For further details on the week's games, visit GameSpot's New Releases page.